Name: fidelis okafor
State: Anambra state
School: University of Abuja ( biology)
Other info: an abstract artist, an interior decorator.
Nothing is new is never true,
not with a child like me.
Our phases has never been without a new skin
her’s has been from the failed ritual rape to the countless market beatings,
then to the joyful pain of birthing me.
The hollow in her conscious has been filled with my first cry, cause she wept and I felt droplets that were not rain’s.
She guide’s and protects me in jealousy, stands in the sun mostly to shade me from what she calls Raymond bullet’s; yes she is crazy, I know.
She has gone through hell, the scars being here testimonial, she might hide them under rags as clothes but my palm knows a wrinkle when I touch her face.
I have seen heaven too,
mentioning when she was almost set a blaze before my eyes, for stealing clothes so she can warm my body, my only assistance in her cry as she was mobbed was playing with my teddy and calling ‘mahmi, mahmi’.
I guess I was two or one plus years , I don’t remember cause I had restless feet that walked early, you can laugh a little and call it heredity.
The only thing odd on her body is a gold necklace.
I have seen her protect it but let’s me play with it.
I might be a child but I have seen it on a man’s neck too: maybe we have relatives who are living behind the fence of shame.
I stopped being broken when I knew I was her only memory.
I guess she had been rich , travelled the states and even the world cause I have seen her mimicking popping bottles, dancing Ballard with little me and most times would spank my head if I fail the Queen’s posture of eating or hold my chin upright.
They all seem like elegy of a glorious past life;
I know she has a favorite dance, cause she hardly dances to the ghetto kids gospel beats.
I love her, yes very much,
but I am still finding answers to why my heart sinks when she raises her voice at me or who I fear when she flogs me; my mother or the lunatic ?
You can judge me if you see it less confusing for a mother to shed tears while hitting her child and still laugh about it.
I am just seven ,and heaven has not returned my mails of questions-
questions to why Mom calls George a girl;
questions of if Mom has a brain or mind;
questions to if societal stigmatization would wash off.
questions to why I am writing this poem on the last page of my birthday present, a stolen story book.
Love might be strange but blood is always the same color.
She is my mother and I am the daughter